The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on April 16, 1987 · Page 13
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The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 13

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Baytown, Texas
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Thursday, April 16, 1987
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Page 13
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THE BAVTOWN SUN Thursday, April 16, 1987 1-3 SVN SVPER SPORT-THURSDAY Behind the line Local basketball coaches like the 3-point basket By MIKE SIMMONS Nothing caused a storm of controversy in college basketball last season like the institution of the three-point shot. Many coaches were up in arms over the new rule, feeling it would take more away from the game than it added. Unlike their collegiate counterparts, the head basketball coaches at Ross S. Sterling and Robert E. Lee are viewing calmly the coming of the three-point shot to their game. By order of the University Interscholastic League, the 19-foot, 9-inch three-pointer will be implemented throughout the state next year. "I was sure it was only a matter of time before it came to our level," Lee boys Coach Jim Ledbetter said. "When it entered the college level you knew it would come to our level eventually." Ledbetter and the other three head coaches — Sterling boys Coach Woody Walker, Lee girls Coach Retha Swindell and Sterling girls Coach Patti Rau — agree the rule will add excitement to the high school game, though the long-range effect of it is still in question. "I don't know how much of an effect it will have in high school," Walker said. "You won't have that many players on a team with the ability to hit consistently from that range. But I think it will be good for us." "At least when you're behind by a certain number of points you'll feel you have a chance," Swindell said. "Before, if you were down by three you pretty much thought you were out of it, but that will change now". It should make for some interesting endings." The controversial 19-9 line used in college will not be changed for high school play, but the coaches agree the distance is proper for high school players. "It's a good range," Ledbetter said. "I think there should be three lines at the three levels (high school, college and pro). I don't think high school and college should be the same; I think the college line has to go back a little bit." "Where it is is fine for high school," Walker said. "It'll still be difficult for most players to hit from that range." Another UIL rule change could help high school girls basketball players when shooting three-pointers. Girls programs next year will adopt a new ball, which is an inch smaller in size and two ounces lighter in weight. 'It should make for some interesting endings.' —Retha Swindell "I'm sure the boys' range (of shooting) will be longer because they're stronger," Swindell said, "but the lighter ball might make up for it for the girls." Rau also likes the idea of the smaller ball. "I think it'll improve shooting distance," she said, "but because it's smaller and lighter it'll help ballhandling and passing." She and Walker have been involved in games in which a version of the three-point shot was used, but they came away with different impressions. "We used the three-pointer a couple of years ago in the Nederland Tournament and I remember it got us back in the game when we played (Beaumont) French," Walker said. "That was a shorter shot — I think it was 18 feet — but it was fun in that tournament." "We had an opportunity to confront it when we went to Clear Lake last year and it had no bearing on the game whatsoever," Rau said. "We saw it at their tournament and when we played them and none were made. I'm not so sure any were shot." Originally seen as a means of unclogging inside play on the college level, the three- pointer could have the same effect on the high school game. "It'll probably take away some of the zone (defense) play, especially late in the game when it's evident the only hope for a team is the three-point play," Walker said. "I think you'll see a lot of man-to-man played late in games." "I think, it'll cause a lot of the things that it caused on the college level," Ledbetter said. "A team with kids who can hit from that range will force a team out of the zone and extend the defense. That'll open up the inside game more." What the coaches feel must be guarded against is the unwise use of the three-point shot. None wants to see the new rule cause a lot of unnecessary long-range shooting. "If we were to get a sharpshooter who can hit from out there, yeah, we would use it," Rau said. "I think once we start developing those types of players it'll be no problem. But I'm so inside-oriented we won't shoot it just to be shooting it." "When you talk offense, you always talk shot selection," Ledbetter said. "Kids have to understand what their capabilities are. Not everyone can take a three-point shot on any level." Wild shots from beyond the key aren't the (See 3-POINT, Page 2-B) OUTSIDE SHOTS like this one by Ross S. Sterling's Lawrence Creeks will count for three points next basketball season, since the University Interscholastic League plans to add the three-point line to high school games. (Sun file photo) San Jacinto clinches TJCAC title at expense of Rebels By DAVID BERKOWITZ HOUSTON — With eight games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the San Jacinto College Gators can turn their attention to preparing for the state tournament. Wednesday afternoon's 8-2 victory over Lee College at John Ray Harrison Field gave the Gators the go-ahead, as they clinched another Texas Junior College Athletic Conference championship. In Wayne Graham's seven seasons as head coach at San Jacinto. his teams haven't missed finishing first. The Gators' 211 record ensures them the latest title, since second-place Alvin Community College is SI- games behind. In case of a tie. San Jacinto would prevail because of its six-game sweep of the Dolphins this season. On the other side of the field, the Rebels dropped to one game in back of Alvin at 11-10. They would like to at least split Friday's 1 p.m. double-header with the Gators to stay in contention for the second playoff berth. San Jacinto threw its best at LC. as right-handed pitcher Mark Smith improved his record to 10-0 by allowing two runs over eight innings. He struck out eight, walked one and worked his way around nine hits and two Gator errors to hold down the Rebels. LC. which is 0-4 against San Jacinto this season, wasted several scoring opportunities in stranding eight runners. Players were left on base in all but two innings. The Gators got all the runs they would need in the first three innings. A two-run home'run by second baseman Mark Simon in the opening inning started things against left-hander George "Goober" Anderson. A run- scoring double by first baseman Donald Wright, along with a throwing error by Anderson, made it 4-0 in the third. Anderson. 6-5. was one of four pitchers employed by LC Coach Dick Smith, who will probably come back with Anderson and Kenny Mayberry on Friday. Mayberry yielded two runs in his three innings and Mark Treadway was touched for a pair of runs in his inning. Steve Riha set the side down in order in the eighth. The Rebels got one of their runs in the fourth inning when Bruce Bingham doubled, moved to third base on Charlie FehPs ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Lance Smith. An RBI double by right fielder Thomas McGee and an RBI triple by designated hitter Bill Losa increased San Jacinto's advantage to 6-1 in the fifth. The Rebels got one of those runs back in the seventh with the aid of catcher Jon Prather's throwing error. But San Jacinto got another two runs in the bottom of the inning on Wright's two-run homer. Reynolds, who has raised his average from .197 to .287 over the last eight games, paced the Rebels with three hits. Notes: Third baseman Mike Easley was No. 10 in the country in the most recent National Junior College Athletic Association chart of leading hitters . . . San Jacinto. 35-3 on the season, is the top-ranked team in the nation . . . The Rebels' overall record dropped to 25-20 with Wednesday's loss . . . The state tournament will be held during the second week of May at Texas A&M Universilv's field. LEE HookmytM" cf DeLuon Ib Ea-slcv 3b SluiR'nt dh Hinghom ss Fehl If .Smith c KoyrtoldsSb Aujzustino rf Totals Lee San Jacinto .. SAN JACINTO ab 5 :t 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 35 r 0 tl i) 0 1 1) 1 (1 0 h 1) I 1 1 2 0 2 3 0 2 10 bl 0 0 0 u 0 H 1 II u I ab Thompson cf 2 Hollander Simon 2b Wright Ib McGwri Losa db Taylor ss Swain If Pratherc Hooker 3b Totals 000 202 1 i 4 4 3 4 2 5 ;{ 30 100 020 r 2 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 1) 1 8 h 0 0 1 2 1 2 0 I (1 0 7 bi I) 0 2 :{ i i o n 0 0 7 100—2 20*— 8 K — Kask-y, Reynold*. Anderson. Thompson. I'rathcr. DP - San .lavintn. LOB — Lee H. San .laclnto (i- 2B - DcLcon. Hincham. Smith. Reynolds. Wright. McGti-. Losa. 3B - Losa. UK — Simon. \Vripht. Sli - l%aslcy. Reynolds. Swain. SF — Smith. IP H R ER BB SO Lee Anderson (L. (!-51 a ; 4 :i :i 2 Mayberry :t 3 2 2 0 0 Treaciw ay i 2 :'. 2 2 0 Kiha 1 o o o o 1 San Jacinto Smith i\v. 10-01 K a 2 i i s Schultea i i o o o i Scott silences Dodgers by tossing 1-hit shutout LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers in the dugout kept grabbing off foul balls and meticulously examining them for Mike Scott markings. That was, however, the only way the Dodgers were able to get a hold of anything the Houston Astros' split-finger fastball artist threw Wednesday night. Scott held Los Angeles to one hit and one walk, while striking out as the Astros downed the Dodgers 4-0. Scott, off to a 2-0 start with a pair of victories over Los Angeles, wasn't bothered by the Dodgers' checking the ball and complaining to the umpire. "It doesn't matter to me, but it just makes the game longer," he said. Dodger pitcher Rick Honeycutt, who wasn't in the game, examined the ball a number of times after fouls. "The scuff marks (on the balls) were all identical," Honeycutt said. "I don't know what grade of sandpaper he (Scott) was using, but it was a finer grade." Los Angeles Manager Tommy Lasorda, meanwhile, didn't want to downplay the fine pitching performance by Scott. "He pitched a heckuva game; you can't do anything about that one. The guy was too tough for us," Lasorda said. "We thought a lot of balls may have been sanded up," added the Dodger manager, who said he collected about 12 balls and they were all scuffed on about the same spot. First no-hitter tossed, 4-B "But that's not the reason he beat us. Fm not using that as an excuse. I don't want to take anything away from the guy ... He certainly knows how to pitch." Scott gave up just a single to Mariano Duncan, who hit a sharp liner to left-center in the third inning, and a walk to Mike Marshall in the fourth. Duncan stole second, but was stranded there as Scott quickly ended the inning. Billy Hatcher, meanwhile, provided the bulk of the Astros' hitting as he continued his strong start. Hatcher homered, doubled and singled to account for half the Houston runs. He's hit safely in all nine of the Astros' games. His solo homer in the fourth off Alejandro Pena, 0-1, gave Scott all he needed. r h bl 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 0 1 0 000 000 000 000 0 1 0 011—4 000-0 Game-winning RBI — Hatcher (2). LOB — Houston 3, Los Angeles 1. 2B — Puhl, GDavIs, Hatcher. HR - Hatcher (I), GDavis (1). SB Duncan (3). IP H R ER BB SO 0 I 10 HOUSTON Doran 2b Hatcher cf Puhl If GDavis Ib Bass rf Ashby c CReynoldsss Garner 3b Scott p Totals Houston ..... LosAncetes ab r h bl 4110 4132 4110 4122 4000 4010 4000 3000 3000 34 4 1 4 LOS ANGELES ab Sax2b 4 Ramsey cf 3 Guerrero If 3 Marshall rf 2 Scioscia c 3 Stubbs Ib 3 Woodson 3b 3 Duncan KS 3 APena p 1 Matuszck ph I Leary p 0 Landreaux ph 1 Totals 27 000 200 000 000 Shortstop Smith is Liberty's big secret Player hopes to turn heads Scott (W, 2-0) ............. 9 1 0 LOR Angeles APena(UO-l) ............ 6 42 Leary .................... 3 T- 2:12. A -43,381. 20 4220 RAY SMITH'S talents may be a secret to many, but Liberty's baseball coach and players appreciate what the shortstop has done for their team this season. He hopes to catch the attention of college and professional scouts. (Sun staff photo by Alfred Valdez) By ALFRED VALDEZ LIBERTY — Baseball Coach Ricky Witt calls him the best- kept secret in high school baseball in this area. However, those who have seen Liberty shortstop Ray Smith play know this secret is definitely for real. Smith has been wowing fans and opposing teams with his slick fielding for three years and now, in his senior season, he has added a slick bat to his arsenal. He is leading his team with a .435 average. His talents have reportedly drawn the interest of professional baseball scouts. "I don't know if any scouts have been in the stands or not," Smith said prior to a workout Wednesday. "But I pretend they are there. That way it makes me work harder to try and impress them." Whether the scouts are there or not, Smith said he wants to make a career of baseball and does not really care where he plays after high school. "I just want to keep playing baseball somewhere," he said. His first choice would be a professional team, but playing for a college would suit him just fine. "I'll just keep playing and working hard until something turns up." he said. Witt said Smith has been a good defensive player his entire high school career. During that time he has made some "unbelievable" plays. "He is one of those kids you can't describe." Witt said. "He makes the plays you think he has no chance to make; the dives into the hole, the catches over his head, the backhanded stops." Smith knows the value of his defensive play and is constantly working to improve it. "I take more pride in my fielding." Smith said. "It would make me feel bad if I made a lot of errors. It is easier to make mistakes in the field than it is hitting." This year Smith has started to complement his superb fielding with a bat that has stayed more consistent than in years past. "He has always been a streak hitter. He would get hot for a few weeks and then he wouldn't get a hit for several games. This year, he has become a more consistent hitter and I'm sure that will enhance his chances of continuing his career," Witt said. "It probably has to do with the fact that he is a senior and has become bigger and stronger and has matured some." Witt said Smith is the consummate player in thai he will listen to advice on improving his skills when many players would be content to stay pat. "We are still working on some little things, like taking the right steps for positioning and on developing 'soft hands,' " Witt said. While Smith's goal of making first team All-District 10-4A is (See SMITH, Page 2-B)

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